gumdrop donuts

I'm starting to get that comfortable feeling you get when you've obsessed over something long enough that you become sort of an expert in it. I jumped into this latest recipe head first, knowing I was going to be okay on the other end. It's sort of a great feeling. I made gumdrop donuts! GUMDROP DONUTS! How do I come up with this stuff? 

I did it, I love them, they are beautiful. They were easier than the marshmallows. They were so much fun to make! I am trying to think of the perfect person to give them to. They are happy-making, completely, whether you eat them or not.

I started with a lot of online research, finally adapting my recipe from this homemade gumdrop recipe from a site I found called Home Made Simple, so thank you to them.

The work is not too hard, there is a bit of cook time, plus mixing the separate colors and flavors. The worst part is waiting two days for the sugar coating to crystalize. I've been dying to share these all week!

The recipe yielded 16 gumdrop donuts for me. You will need 4 tbsp. gelatin (more than comes in one box), 4 c. sugar plus another 1 1/2 c. for coating the gumdrops, various extracts and food coloring (I did five flavors/colors), 1 c. cold water and 1 1 1/2 c. boiling water. Also, cooking spray and something to wipe it with, small bowls and a small ladle, and three A-team donut pans, of course.

In a large pot, sprinkle the 4 tbsp. gelatin over 1 c. of cold water and let soften for five minutes. While that's happening, spray your donut pan cavities with cooking spray. Take a soft cloth or paper towel and gently wipe the cooking spray so that the finish looks smooth and not foamy. Make sure the surfaces are still greasy, even after being wiped. Wiping helps keep bubbles from the spray from being imprinted into the surfaces of the gumdrop.

Stir the 1 1/2 c. boiling water to dissolve the gelatin, then add in 4 c. sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil gently for 25 minutes. Stir constantly. Most of the foam you see come to the top will be gone by the end of the 25 minutes and the mixture will be clear.

Divide the mixture into small bowls with a ladle, in as many color/flavor combinations as you'd like. I did the following five combinations, but would love to make some green and white ones closer to the holidays. I ended up with four red gumdrop donuts and three each of the other four colors.

red = peppermint (I couldn't find cinnamon extract)
orange = orange
yellow = lemon
brown = vanilla
black = anise

I happened to have black food coloring from the Olympic symbol Jell-O rings I made back in July. I'll show you how to make brown.

Basic formula is 1/4 tsp. extract for each flavor. If you're doing ten flavors with this recipe, you might reduce the extract in each bowl to 1/8 tsp. so as not to overwhelm. In general, I was using around six drops of food coloring for each color, but some got more. Stir in a few drops at a time until you get the colors you are looking for.

Use a small ladle to fill the pans, unless you're really good at pouring from the side of a bowl.

Equal parts red and green make brown. It's true!

 When pans have all been filled, place them in the refrigerator overnight, or for about twelve hours.

When you are ready to take the gumdrops out of the pans, line a baking sheet with waxed paper and fill a wide bowl with the remaining sugar to use for coating. Using clean, dry tips of your fingers, pull the edge of the donut away from the edge of the pan. It should stick to your fingers enough to pull all the way out, but you can also wedge the end of a butter knife or your finger below to help it along. Admire that beautiful thing, then dip it in the bowl of sugar and coat all surfaces. Place on the waxed paper lined baking sheet and repeat.

I love the way they catch the light. My friend Sara keeps telling me to make resin donuts. I think I'd really like those. We'll see.

After all the donuts are coated in sugar and placed on the waxed paper lined tray, sprinkle a little more sugar around to make sure all surfaces are covered. Let sit 24 hours.

After 24 hours have passed, temporarily remove the donuts from the tray and pour off the extra sugar. Over a bowl, gently bounce and tap each donut to remove ALL excess sugar, so they really start to look like gumdrops. Place each back on waxed paper lined baking sheet upside down for twelve hours to let sugar on bottoms to set up a little more. Flip back over for the remaining twelve hours. That was a long two days, right?

The black anise gumdrop is in the foreground, the brown in focus beyond. Pretty!

I jumped the gun a day into it and let everyone sample the black anise gumdrop, to rave reviews. There are SO many of our donut pan ideas that would make great gifts, and this is definitely one of the top ones. Next time I'm going to try pink watermelon and maybe something more sour. Those would be awesome.


  1. These are SO pretty. Food art!

    1. Thank you, Rhea! They are so enticing to look at, the whole geometry of a donut is really pleasing to the eye. I wish I'd remembered to leave a few without color, they would've been so lovely. Next time!

  2. the architect and mommy and burlesque dancer in you takes award winning photos, writes prize winning prose and captures the minds of women near and far. we love your style, grace, compassion, thoughtfulness, expertise and ease of deliverance. bless your gifts, your family, your soul.

    annie candy

    1. Candy Pie, that is the most wondrous comment I have ever received on my blog. Thank you for appreciating me, it means a whole lot.

      My family will tell you, I did two runs of trying to make candy necklace-style candy but my meringue turned to mush and the other recipe just stayed soft like wet royal icing. When I get that one figured out, I will be sure to give you several for a costume, they would be perfect for you.

      Lots of love to you!

  3. no wonder you were so excited on twitter! absolutely gorgeous! and the flavors sound delicious. i'm with annie candy, you are one diversely gifted woman!

    1. Ahaha, I was really excited! I'm dorking out over these things big time. Thank you for your sweet comments, Nicky! I am going over to vote for your donkey right now! :)

  4. These are amazing! I seriously can't wait til you become famous and sell so many of these books. These are beautiful to look at and I can only imagine how wonderfully tasty they are. When you're finished, will you pick a favorite recipe?

    1. Funny you mention that, LT! I have another giveaway from the pan company on Weds. and I'm wondering what everyone else's favorites are so far. Maybe I will include my pick as well. I think these would be an amazing book, so I am keeping my fingers crossed! xo

  5. Tiffanie, these look amazing! I think I'll be making these soon. Just wondering how long these can keep for? I doubt they'll last very long, but if I were to make them as a gift, can I make them in advance?

    1. Hi paperandflair. They keep a long time, and actually you want to make them about two weeks in advance so they can really set up and be sort of almost hard like the outside of a real gumdrop. I suggest doing them in advance! :)

  6. Thanks so much! I can't wait to try this, I'm need to get some gelatine and flavorings. I did have one more question though, did you store them in an air tight container or just on the counter with no cover? Although I can forsee the problem of a lot of sampling if it's just sitting out :)

    1. Hi again, no problem! I think I stored them out on the counter uncovered for part of the day, then that night and going forward I kept a piece of waxed paper set lightly on top. Let me know how it goes!


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